PESHAWAR: Various government departments at long last joined hands Thursday and took practical steps to protect the Heritage Trail Project, which was undertaken and completed in the heart of the city to highlight the culture of Peshawar.
The Directorate of Archeology and Museums barred traffic from plying the trail. It launched decorated auto rickshaws service to ply between the Gor Khatri Archaeological Complex and Ghanta Ghar (118 years-old Cunningham Clock Tower), which is the project route.
The auto rickshaw shuttle service will be of great help to the women who frequent to nearby New Muslim Meena Bazaars and Shaheen Bazaars. These two women shopping centres house scores of shops selling clothes, garments cosmetics and other accessories. The bazaars entrances are on both sides of the Heritage Trail.
The project was opened to the public on June 4, last year. It had become an abandoned child as neither the Archaeology, Culture, Tourism, nor the district government were ready to look after the trail that had cost the exchequer Rs315 million.
Traffic continued to ply the route of the project as the Directorate of Archeology and Museums and Town-1 Administration would toss the look after responsibility for the project. It was damaging the trail.
The traders, owning shops in the trail and in the nearby bazaars, had opposed any bar on the traffic as they feared restriction would keep the customers, mostly women, away from and affect their businesses.
Later, a committee comprising officials of the directorate and district council was formed to formulate standard operating procedures (SOPs) to hand over the project to the district government which worked.
Research Officer at the Directorate of Archeology and Museums Nawazuddin said that police had arranged 12 auto rickshaws to transport passengers from the main entrance of Gor Khatri Archeological Complex to Ghanta Ghar and vice versa.
The official said the rickshaws would charge Rs10 per passenger between the two points. He added that the directorate would not take any tax from the rickshaw drivers.
He said the auto rickshaw shuttle service was part of the project, adding no other vehicle would be allowed to ply the route of the Heritage Trail.
The official said the Tehsil Municipal Administration would establish a parking lot for shopkeepers and local residents around the Gor Gathri Archaeological Complex.
The TMA would give the parking lot contract to a contractor and the directorate would be responsible for looking after the project.
Nawazuddin said that the TMA had provided 20 and the district administration six persons for cleaning the project area on a regular basis.
“Now the funds has been released to complete the remaining work and repair work of the project,” he added.
The culture lovers heaved a sigh of relief as the sanitation workers were seen washing the area around the Gor Khatri Archaeological Complex and the Heritage Trail on Thursday with the help of water tankers.
It may be mentioned here that the work on the Rs315 million project was started on December 7, 2017, which was supposed to be completed by April 7 last but there was a two months delay.
The project was meant to give a historical touch to the buildings in the old quarters of the city by improving the façades, taking the electricity and telephone cables underground and constructing underground drains, renovating and paving the streets.
The fronts of around 80 new buildings and shops were given a historical touch.
The project area started from the 118-year-old Ghanta Ghar (Cunningham Clock Tower), and passes through Bazaar-e-Kalaan and Mohallah Sethian and ends at Gor Khatri Archaeological Complex.
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